Happy people have fulfilling and abundant lives but most people believe that happiness is only temporary, comes and then goes to set the floor for disappointments and despair. However, research saysÂ that in fact, happiness can be cultivated.Â The Greater Good Science Center has collected several practices to foster happiness and below are some of these:
1- Aknowledge and focus on the good:
Take a journal and dedicate few minutes before going to bed and write three good things that happened to you during the day and really focus on the way you felt. For example: Your favorite song playing on the radio, your partner’sÂ kiss or your child’s infectious laughter. Then, try to explain why you think these good things happened to you so that you shift your attention from the negatives you usually sleep thinking about. If you assume that NOTHING good happens to you, try to make some simple changes to your routine. In the weekend for instance, instead of watching your TV series or playing your video games all day long, try:
Something you do alone: Take a walk, read a book, meditate or write
Something you do with others: Get yourself out there, initiate a conversation or go visit someone you love
Something meaningful: Volunteer, help someone in need or SMILE randomly at people on the street
2- Recognize and use yourÂ strengths:Â
You are invited to take a journal and write all your strengths and qualities ranging fromÂ creativity to empathy, humility, patience and perseverance. For a whole week, start your day by selecting one strength or quality from the list and use it. Come up with a new project idea, comfort a friend in need or learn a dance routine. At the end of the week, summarize your experience in your journal and explain what you did exactly, how it made you feel and what you learned. Keeping up with this process will make you feel good about yourself since you have found something you do well and are only getting better at it.
3- Connect with others:
Being kind can totally shift your mood instantly. Random acts of kindness boost your connection with all beings. These acts can be very simple but leave a huge impact: You could help a blind person to cross the street, make your partner a nice meal, silently bless people on the street and again, smile randomly. Giving is also magical;Â Researchers Elizabeth Dunn and Michael NortonÂ in addition to several others, have found evidence that being kind and generous makes oneÂ happier when it is a choice. When you contribute to someone’s happiness, you can only feel happier that’s the equation.